Sunday, December 26, 2010

So much for posting every month . . .

I have been a terrible blogger this year.

Changes have been a problem, but mostly I have just procrastinated.

There has been knitting, but no pictures. I stopped all projects to make caps for the nice men who helped my daughter move. I have worked on my brother's socks, but I stopped working on the second sock during my divorce trauma, and now I can't remember how to do the twisted stitch and can't make the second sock look like the first one! Even the people in my knitting group can't make them look the same.

And now I need to get moving on yet another baby cardigan because my niece goes in for a C-section Thursday, and all I have is a bag of yarn. I'm not too worried because I bought cotton, and I am aiming for something she can wear in the spring, but I need to start.

There have also been some times when I just sit and stare into the flames in the wood stove and ponder life. There have been some trials in my family in the past few months, and I know they are not done, but this holiday season mostly what I can see is how blessed we all are.

So belated Merry Christmas and good wishes for the new year!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Have Been Neglectful

Wow - I have been a terrible blogger.

There has been knitting, but there also has been the start of school - a school year with several changes that have caused me to adapt and adjust.

I also made it to the Taos Wool Festival, but unfortunately I forgot to charge my camera batteries, so there are no pictures.

I did take a Harry Potter personality quiz (Meyers Briggs) with these results:

href="http://Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Whole Lot of Things Going on

Even though I haven't been posting, there have been things going on.

I finished the Baby DNA Model for my grand-niece. What a fun toy to make! I hope she enjoys it. Pattern is on ravelry.

Then the knitting group had a yarn dyeing day. I haven't photographed the yarn I dyed yet, but this is my first attempt at roving. I need to learn how to adjust my camera because this is really a bright turquoise, apple green, and dark purple. I learned a lot doing this because my intention was to have a light turquoise, yellow and lilac. I think I put at least 3 times too much dye in each bottle. However, we had fun, I learned a great deal, and I didn't felt my roving, so I think the day was a success.

Lastly, I took a fast trip to New Mexico with friends. We left very early on a Saturday to go to Santa Fe. We managed a lot of shopping in Santa Fe, then tried to eat at a hamburger place that Frommers put on their Top 10 Burger list, but there was a long wait. So we went on to Las Vegas and ate lunch at the Spick and Span. Then on to a friend's cabin (we are walking the trail in the picture). It was very rainy, so we didn't get to hike or fish, but we had a lot of fun playing games and eating junk food. We left the next morning, passed the alpaca ranch outside of Mora (wasn't open) and on to the raspberry ranch, back to Las Vegas for more Spick and Span and then home.

And so ends my summer vacation. I am spending the last few days finishing up all the deep cleaning I planned to do in June and finishing minor repair projects.

I think I had a successful summer. I had a couple of fun trips and got some minor repairs done. I pulled out all my yarn stash, cleaned it out and reorganized what was left. Yes, I gave some away and even threw some away (gasp!). I am nearly through with knitting books and magazines - will be giving some away and posting others to ravelry for destash.

Best of all, I had several rainy days this summer where I could just sit and look out the windows and knit - heaven!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

the Kindness of Strangers

I am an independent soul. I don't "depend on the kindness of strangers." I really hate to ask for help.

However I was absolutely blown away today. I have had trouble with my mower, and a good friend (same one from a previous post) came over last night and fixed it again. It was too late to mow, and I spent most of today at my mom's house waiting for a plumber, so I was planning to get up and mow tomorrow.

I came home and my front yard was mowed!! I have no idea who did it, but I am doing some investigating mainly because I want to thank them and maybe take them some cherry jam.

But, how kind is that!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I started this day with getting family to help me with a photo scavenger hunt for Sock Knitters Anonymous. I racked up points for non-knitters, children under 12 and animals. Thanks guys!

Then I met the knitting group at a local restaurant. We had planned to meet in a park, but the forecast was for high temperatures, so we opted for air conditioning and margaritas.
The group was kind enough to go with me to the Cadillac Ranch, so I could get a picture of my sock with an internationally recognized landmark - got 5 points for that!
It was a fun day. I didn't rack up enough points to win a prize, but I enjoyed planning the pictures and have some ideas for next year.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Showers of Blessings

I've had a frustrating start to my summer. I was taking my dog to the kennel, getting ready to leave town when my car started overheating. I zipped to the car repair place where they thought it was just a water pump, but it turned out I needed a new head gasket and a water pump and . . .
Then my sister offered me her car, so I could take my trip anyway. What a relief!!
Then I came home and couldn't get my mower to start. The husband of a lady in my knitting group looked at it, and I did what he said, but it still wouldn't start. So, a good friend came and worked on it last night, got it working, and then insisted on mowing some for me. Again, what a relief!
So, I didn't have to buy a new mower, and the repairs to the car actually came to a little less than the original quote (although ironically it was only a few hundred over what I will earn at my summer job - like they knew what I would be making.). I take this a lesson to me to have some faith! I have been blessed beyond measure with family and friends that are willing to help, and I know that when things happen, a way to work them out will come clear.
I have told them all in person, but one more time - Thank you so much!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Reflections on a School Year

No knitting content - at least no pictures.

I listened to my district's high school baseball team play in the state finals yesterday. They lost, but still what an accomplishment.

My district has only had a high school for 6 years. During those 6 years, the volleyball team won state twice, the football team went to state finals, and now the baseball team has gone to state finals. We have had three athletes go to Division I schools, and many more get scholarships to smaller schools.

Our academic standards are high also. This year it looks like we may be an exemplary district, and for sure the middle school where I teach will be exemplary. I take that with a little bit of skepticism since the rating is based a great deal on state testing scores, and I believe the state testing is just on a basic level. However, I did have 66% of my students score at the commended level on the Reading test - the highest level I have had.

So, I am bragging. I am proud of what our students have accomplished, and I am proud of the people with whom I teach who have helped these students excell. We are a small district although we have grown immensely since the high school was built. When I started at the district 20 years ago, there were 225 students in K-8. Now we are over 1,000 and are completing additions at every campus to accomodate the increased numbers.

So - woo hoo to us!!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Good Contest - Good Cause

Just saw a contest listed on ravelry whose cause is near to my heart. Go to

for a raffle of Golding spindles, Namaste bags, Sundara yarn and more. Just donate $5 to American Animal Rescue Society for a chance to win one of these. There is a link on the blog, although you must use Paypal to donate.

I have 6 cats rescued mostly as strays, and one dog from a shelter. Of course, my daughter has 9 (!!!) cats and 2 dogs, all rescues.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Top 100 Childrens' Books - How Many Have You Read?

From School Library - Top 100 Childrens' Books via KnitNTeach's blog

I have read all but 13. I plan to look for 12 of them, but I will not read Where the Red Fern Grows. I don't read "dead dog" books if I can avoid them

#1 Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
#2 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
#3 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
#4 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
#5 From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
#6 Holes by Louis Sachar
#7 The Giver by Lois Lowry
#8 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
#9 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
#10 The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
#11 The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
#12 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
#13 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#14 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
#15 Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
#16 Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
#17 Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
#18 Matilda by Roald Dahl
#19 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
#20 Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
#21 Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riodan
Haven't read #22 The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo
#23 Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#24 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
#25 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
#26 Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
#27 A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett
#28 Winnie-the Pooh by A.A. Milne
#29 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland /Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
#30 The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
#31 Half Magic by Edward Eager
#32 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
#33 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#34 Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
#35 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire JK Rowling
#36 Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Haven't read #37 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
#38 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Haven't read #39 When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
#40 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
#41 The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
#42 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#43 Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
#44 Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
#45 The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Haven't read #46 Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Haven't read #47 Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Haven't read #48 The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
#49 Frindle by Andrew Clements
#50 Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
#51 The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright
Haven't read #52 The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
#53 Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
#54 The BFG by Roald Dahl
#55 The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
#56 Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
#57 Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
#58 The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
#59 Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
#60 The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
#61 Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
#62 The Secret of the Old Clock (The Nancy Drew mysteries) by Caroline Keene
#63 Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
#64 A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
#65 Ballet Shoes by Noah Streatfeild
#66 Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
#67 Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville
#68 Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
#69 The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
#70 Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
#71 A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Haven't read #72 My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
#73 My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
#74 The Borrowers by Mary Norton
#75 Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
#76 Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
#77 City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
#78 Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
#79 All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Haven't read #80 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Haven't read #81 Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
#82 The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Haven't read #83 The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
#84 Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
#85 On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#86 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
#87 The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
#88 The High King by Lloyd Alexander
#89 Ramona and her Father by Beverly Cleary
#90 Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
#91 Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
#92 Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
#93 Caddie Woodlawn by C. R. Brink
#94 Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
#95 Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
#96 The Witches by Roald Dahl
Haven't read #97: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
#98 Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
#99 The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
#100 The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And There is a Winner!!

This was a somewhat low tech drawing because I only had three people donate in the yarn raffle. So, I put their initials on paper - one piece of paper for each $2.00 donated - put them all in a bowl, shook it up, and drew one out.

You can see by the "J" that Panhandle Jane won! I will message you on ravelry to get your address and will get your beautiful yarn on its way to you.

Thanks so much to all who donated! I more than made my goal, but better yet, we all are helping fund research for a cure for MS.

Now I have to go find my rain coat. The forecast for Saturday is for thunderstorms. I was optimistic and bought some orange framed sunglasses last week for the walk.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wollmeise Raffle

I need some help! I will be doing an MS Walk on April 17th as part of the team Siblings Against Multiple Sclerosis.

One of the siblings, Shay, is a member of my knitting group. We have more than knitting in common - we are both avid readers, and we had the same HS English teacher albeit many years apart.

I need to kickstart my pledge, so I am putting up a skein of Wollmeise Twin for raffle. It is the Rotkappchen colorway - 80% Merino Superwash/20% handgefarbt (?); 510 yards.

For every $2.00 donated, you will have one chance at winning this yarn. For example, if you donate $10, your name goes into a random draw 5 times. When you use the link below, your name and the amount donated is automatically listed. I will also need an email address, so I can notify the winner.

I will close this and draw for a winner on April 14th. Then this beautiful red yarn will be sent off to its new home!

This is the link to my page for the walk. You can use this to make a donation.

Thanks for the help!